Nurse Anonymous

by Alan Britt

The squawk of the trumpet
muffled by generations of slavery.

Survival rate
wasn’t so good.

Though the ones
who did survive
eagerly stepped forward
in their black and white

Outrageous, Nurse Anonymous joins
a gangsta gang,
prepared for almost anything
that comes her way.

She eats clocks
and devours tour busses
on their way to Texas barbeques.

She’s a pregnant buffalo
frightened off a Colorado cliff,

She’s a bamboo whistle
trapped inside a heart bypass.

She shakes her patriotic fist of helium balloons
waving above a Home Depot parking lot.

The sleepy eyelid of a 35-mm lens
droops when confronted
by her aura.

Someone insists it must be
a double-exposure.

Nurse Anonymous went to Raeford Prison,
North Carolina, 1967.

During time off for good behavior
she entered a liquor store,
West Palm Beach, 1969,
blasting her way
out the narrow front door,
looking directly
into death’s dusty blue eyes.

Good thing tenderness
runs in our species;
otherwise, a giant, blue-ringed octopus
might mistake us all
for tasty zebra shrimp.

Turn to your left
and you have the stunning green eyes
of Nicole Kidman.

Turn to your right
and you embrace
the coffee black eyes
of the one who delivered me
from this world,
Nurse Anonymous,
migrating the Alaskan ice
so that walruses
might cultivate their profound sadness.

Loyalty notwithstanding,
we’re barely adolescents
in human history.

I pity our poor children,
even though, hurtling towards dementia, I’ve finally discovered
I’m one of them.

Alan Britt received his Masters Degree from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. He performs poetry workshops for the Maryland State Arts Council and occasionally publishes the international literary journal, Black Moon, from Reisterstown, Maryland, where he lives with his wife, daughter, two Bouviers des Flandres, one Bichon Friese, and two formerly feral cats.

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